After injury or surgery a patient is usually unable to lift loads or at an effort level known to induce skeletal muscle adaptation. PBFR allows the clinician to begin the strength and hypertrophy phases of rehabilitation much earlier. PBFR has demonstrated statistically significant improved patient outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament surgery both acutely and chronically.
Very compromised patients suffering inflammatory muscle wasting diseases such as polymyositis and dermatomyositis have also demonstrated positive results without any potential safety risks.
It has also demonstrated improved results in patients who have suffered severe musculoskeletal trauma (Read Article) , and in women with risk factors for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
Clinically providers have applied it to many diagnoses with very positive results including but not limited to total joint arthroplasties, Achilles repairs, fractures, rotator cuff repairs, muscle strains, nerve injuries, post-operative knee reconstructions and cartilage repairs, and tendinopathies.
The research to date has found that PBFR training promotes muscle hypertrophy and strength gains more effectively compared to traditional low load weight lifting (10-30% of 1RM).
PBFR has consistently demonstrated to be a safe modality in the literature. It has been performed on thousands of subjects in the peer-reviewed literature with little to no side effects.
It is the application of a specialized tourniquet system to a proximal arm or leg, which is inflated, to a personalized and specific pressure to reduce blood flow to an exercising extremity. The application is brief and intermittent, typically about 6 minutes per exercise, but can last up to 30 minutes based on the specific protocol. With PBFR you can create significant strength and hypertrophy gains with loads as low as 20% 1RM.
The exact mechanism behind the positive results seen with PBFR is still being extensively researched. Theories range from a significant build up of metabolites by anaerobic metabolism, a systemic anabolic response and cellular swelling. It is most likely a combination of multiple factors. It does appear that muscle protein synthesis plays a primary role as this has been consistently demonstrated in the literature.
A recent meta-analysis found a total of 820 articles pertaining to PBFR. The authors of the review concluded “Importantly, research suggests that low load resistance exercise (20–30% 1 RM) and low load aerobic exercise (<70 m/min walk training), which would not be expected to cause considerable increases in muscular quantity or quality under normal circumstances, when combined with PBFR produced an exaggerated response for maximizing muscle strength and hypertrophy.” Read Article
PBFR consistently demonstrates greater results compared to work matched controls exercising without PBFR. The positive results have been seen in patients after injury, in the elderly, and in athletes. It has also been applied extensively in a military rehabilitation setting on severely compromised patients. Read Article
The PTS Personalized Tourniquet System for BFR is an FDA, TGA, and Health Canada listed medical device with advanced personalization and safety features developed specifically for Personalized BFR applications (PBFR). It is available for purchase and use in the United States, Canada, EU (EEA), Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and only by qualified health care professionals who have been trained in the application of PBFR by our education partner Owens Recovery Science (ORS).
ORS is the world leader in clinical education and consulting for PBFR, and has an extensive network of PBFR researchers and practitioners, as well as the latest information on best practices when applying PBFR.